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March 01, 2010

The LATE 19th Century: Appraising the Modern Problem-Play and Ibsen's *A Doll's House*

Image Source: http://whiteoftheeye.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/images-dolls-house.jpg

11 March 2010

Hi Students,

Class ended suddenly today and I didn't get a chance to give you some guidance on your reading responses on Ibsen.

Rather than "assign" a topic for this response, I want you to follow the advice given on reading responses given on page four of the syllabus, which reads:

"The content of the paper must move beyond the freshman-level, exploratory style of writing and answer adequately a question posed by either me—your professor—or a question of your own design (TBA according to reading). [2] The response must be first uploaded digitally to www.turnitin.com and second published to the comment box of the appropriate entry on www.english-blog.com. When all of this is completed, you will receive a qualitative score based on the overall, academic “quality” of both your response and your feedback paragraphs. Attached to this syllabus is a rubric specifying what an acceptable response is and isn’t. NO reading response will be accepted after the deadlines."

Remember that there is a sample response in the syllabus. Also, all of the last responses were pretty good but please look at Dana Jennings last response (you can see it on the English-blog). His paper on Gogol was a "model" paper and represented what I am looking for in a response.

So let this next short paper be a "real" reading response of YOUR design. What about the text did you like? Or, what about this text did you not like? Be specific and ALWAYS back up your position with quotations from the text (citing them properly, naturally). Don't forget the works cited. This is all practice for your final paper. Look at the feedback you got on your last paper on turnitin.com (click the grademark "apple" logo next to your paper) so that you don't make the same point-costing mistakes.

If you are traveling over the holiday, please travel safely. We'll only have a couple of meetings until the reading-check quiz on Kazantzakis so be reading, taking notes in the margins, and looking up words you don't know so that you'll be prepared (you won't be able to read Kazantzakis the night before, so break it up into chunks that can be read "a little" each night.

Happy Spring Break,

Dr. Hobbs


1 March 2010

ENG 226 Students,

This is the entry we'll be using for our Late 19th Century and Ibsen discussions and homework assignments (do not post items due here elsewhere or you may not receive credit!). To complete course assignments, please follow the instructions you were given in class.

1. Your entry tickets should FIRST be submitted to turnitin.com and THEN here in the comment box below. Your entry tickets should have the question and the answer (I asked that you submit a version of the questions without answers as a hardcopy in class).

2. Your reading response--directed/based on a topic you selected from a list distributed in class--should also be submitted to turnitin.com and THEN here in the comment box below.

I have to "approve" all comments so you won't see it immediately after posting. After hitting submit, you should see a screen that confirms this . . .

. . . For your pleasure, please enjoy these trailers for some of the various films themed around the late 19th century below.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)--with Johnny Depp--is supposed to be set in Victorian England. The historical Todd was hanged in 1801. Some serializations of the "myth" dramatized in the various stage and film adaptations were published in the 1840s. The wigs and top hats together show a transition from the late 18th century to the early 19th century.

September Dawn (2006) "sets a fictional love story against a controversial historical interpretation of the Mountain Meadows massacre, which happened on September 11, 1857 when a wagon train of emigrants was attacked by a group of Mormon militiamen and members of the Paiute tribe. More than 120 men, women, and children were murdered." As I stated, the film is controversial--watch with a critical mind and research as a scholar would.

The Gangs of New York (2002) is set in a period that stretches from 1846 to the 1860s. Again, I am presenting you with this trailer to give you access to a feel of what the era was supposed to have looked like around mid-century.

Bram Stoker's Dracula from 1992 is another film both written in and about the 19th Century.

From Hell (2001) with Johnny Depp depicts 19th Century (1880s) London and dramatizes the unsolved mystery of "Jack the Ripper"

Geronimo: An American Legend (1993) retraces the events that led to the capture of Geronimo in 1886.

Like The Gangs of New York, this film set in the 1890s covers a bit of Ireland and the U.S. Far and Away (1992) stars Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman and covers the incredible story of the Oklahoma Land Run of 1893

The entire film about the life of Oscar Wilde, Wilde from 1997, is available in 12 parts here

I recommend this one. The Illusionist (2006) is set in the Fin-de-Siecle--in Vienna, Austria.

These films almost always come out of Hollywood in "pairs." The Prestige (2006) also uses the stage magic show theme but sets it in Fin-de-Siecle London. This one is cool because Nikola Tesla, played by David Bowie, makes a cameo appearance in the story

Moulin Rouge! (2001) is set in Paris circa 1900--the heart of the Belle Epoque.

Just for fun--Mr T. as "Torvald." From Saturday Night LIve's T.V. Funhouse:


To see other English-Blog entries on the subject of Literature, please click HERE.

Posted by lhobbs at March 1, 2010 10:25 PM

Readers' Comments:

2 October 2008

ENG 122 Students:

Below, enter your responses to today's discussion on Ibsen's A Doll's House

1. Identify each of the text’s characters and summarize their purpose/role in the story. Then, summarize and discuss the plot of this text. In a nutshell, what happens from start to finish? Are there any subplots?
2. What role does “Conflict” play in this work of literature? Identify the primary “problem” in the story. Does this lead to a conflict whether it is literal, psychological, or symbolic? Discuss the conflict or conflict subplots within the story.
3. How is the concept of “Morality” represented in this work of literature? Identify and then think specifically about each indication of fairness/unfairness, sincerity/insincerity, etc. in the text, however they may have occurred. What are some of the key the “ethics” in the universe that this work of literature belong to? Are the “standards” the same for everyone? Do some of the characters have “permission” from the writer/reader(you) to be unethical? How is unprincipled behavior rewarded or punished?
4. How are “Women” represented in this work of literature? Identify and then think specifically about each of the female characters. How are they treated by the male characters? What “voice” or power (or, lack thereof) do they have? Discuss any other observations you can conclude about the role of women in this text.
5. What role does “Reality” (Verisimilitude) play in this work of literature? How believable are the characters in this text? How plausible are the situations? Even though this was written in by an author of a different nationality and in a different time, can you, as the reader, relate in any way to the problems posed in the narrative?
6. How is “Power” represented in this work of literature? Identify and then think specifically about each of the power-wielding characters whoever they might be. How are they treated by the male characters? What “voice” or power (or, lack thereof) do they have? What is the “pecking order” or hierarchy of this power, i.e. who outranks who? What is the “limit” of power in each of these groups?
7. How is the “Economy” represented in this work of literature? Identify and then think specifically about each indication of a financial transaction or trade, however it may have occurred. How are material “things” acquired in the universe of this work of literature? Also, what kind of things are bought/sold in the story? Are there any limitations to what can or can’t be purchased? Which characters actually produce things and which characters do not? Are there notable differences in the differing characters’ wealth/power?
8. What role does “Nature” play in this work of literature? Think about what constitutes the natural world and artificial (man-made) world in our own universe an time. How is nature represented in the universe of this text? How is the natural world treated? How is it referred to, if at all? What is its place? What might this mean/what purpose might it serve? Why might it be important?


Dr. Hobbs,

The woman were treated like children. The woman had to have their husbands consent before completeing tasks. You can tell women where on the back burner because of Helmer's comment in the play. He says he would work hard for his wife, but no man would sacrifice his honour for the one he loves. To me this is very different from today. Not many concern of honour and a women these days would tell Helmer where to stick it if he said something like that. Especially if he is your husband. But all in all woman where treated like children.

~Marisa P.

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at October 3, 2008 11:51 PM

Question 3
The concept of morality is represented within this piece of work of literature Nora’s justification of her actions even though they are not right. It is also displayed through Korgsad’s unremorseful blackmailing. Unfairness can be identified within the literature through the primary fact that Nora could not burrow the money on her own because of her gender. Sincerity can be recognized through the primary fact that Nora was willing to burrow the money, knowing that it was a tremendous risk. A key ethic demonstrated in this piece of literature is honesty. The standards in this work are not the same for everyone. Some characters in this story have permission from the writer to be unethical. Unprincipled behavior is punished through the ruin of reputation and even imprisonment.

Posted by: Dominique Smith at October 4, 2008 06:41 PM

I was in Group 2, our question was, What role does “Conflict” play in “A Doll’s House”? Our response was that money was the major conflict in the play. Nora is forced to live by her husband’s rules; she is like a doll in his personal doll house. Nora’s only escape is when she is spending money. The problem is that Helmer can’t afford all of Nora’s expenses. They are living comfortably, but Nora wants to raise their status. Helmer is slowly trying to cut Nora’s allowance, but Nora is really fighting it.

Posted by: Mary Chuhinko at October 6, 2008 10:13 PM

Carlos Amado-Blanco
A Doll's House
Question #5
The role of Reality plays a big part in the story because all of the conflicts that accur are realistic and true. These are all issues that happen to people on a everyday basis. The blackmailing, the lies, the money issues, and the romance are all can all be pertrayed in today's society.

Posted by: Carlos Amado-Blanco at October 6, 2008 11:52 PM

how is the economy represented in a dolls house. torvlad doesnt like nora spending money. she wishes they had alot of money, but they really dont. nora continues to ask for money even though torvald doesnt want to give her money he does to make her happy. nora loaths to be richshe gloads to her friends about money she does not have. krogstad is not only after money, but also after the bank, showing the relationship of money and power. when nora and torvald finnaly get every thing they wanted, nora leaves to make her own money and take care of her self.

Posted by: John Baron at October 7, 2008 12:59 PM

#1. In Act One there are five characters, Helmer, Nora, Torvald, Helen and Porter. What is seems to me is that Porter's purpose was to get the tree for Christmas; I believe that Porter is some sort of servant or worker do to the fact that Nora paid him extra when he brought the tree in. Helmer seems to be the man of the house most likely Torvald's father. Nora seems to be the woman of the house since she is dealing with whom I believe to be servants or workers and then she asks about how much money they can spend over the holiday. I also believe that she is Torvald's mother because she got him a surprise (Macaroons). Torvald is the son of Nora and Helmer and I believe that he is of a younger age do to the fact that they are trying to hide the tree until it is totally dressed and decorated. And that leaves Helen who I believe is the maid since in the very beginning when they are summarizing the scene, they say that the maid opens the door and Helen was the old that Nova asked to hide the tree. To summarize this Act, it is when the tree comes and everyone is excited for the holiday. Everyone is getting ready to decorate the tree.
Act two has two characters, Nora and her nurse named Anne. Nora is the mother of three young children that she wants to have a perfect christmas but because she has to go away she does not want them to see her to get used to being without her. The Nurse's job is to confort her and tell her that everything is okay. That is pretty much the scene to, Nora and the Nurse talking about how if Nora goes away if her children will forget her and that Nora is upset because no one has come to see her on christmas day or even sent a letter.
Act Three has two characters, Mrs. Linde and Krog (as called Nils by Mrs. Linde) Mrs. Linde seems as though at one time she was cheating on her husband with Krog. She broke it off with him through a letter and wrote him again to meet her at the house so she could talk to him about it. Things seem to heat up but Mrs. Linde says that she had to end everything including his feelings for her. In the end it makes me feel like they had known eachother for a long time, I think this because she said that she could not wait for him. And he thought she left him for another man a long time ago just because of the money, but she says that she was a mother and had to little brothers and she needed to support them.
This whole play is a twist after a twist I believe. I did like the play but nothing seems to have ended; it is as though there should be more acts to answer the many questions that were still unanswered.

Posted by: Danielle Dunlevy at October 7, 2008 01:31 PM


*NOTE* The deadline for the assignment above has now passed. Any comments listed below are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

Sadly, about HALF of you felt it was unnecessary to actually do this assignment. If you think that not completing the homework assignments are NOT affecting your participation score, you are mistaken ~ Dr. Hobbs

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at October 7, 2008 10:33 PM

The play is very realistic and the problems that the characters have are common problems in the world today. They have money issues which is one of the leading causes of divorce. Many married couples argue over money and how they should spend it. Poverty is another realistic problem in the world that Nora and Torvalt experience in the play.

Posted by: thomas moona at October 21, 2008 06:16 PM

Dawn Serzanin
Dr. Hobbs
English 122 CA17
15 January 2009
A Dollhouse
The play “A Dollhouse” written by Henrik Ibsen has many different themes throughout its story. Every element of writing in this play is brought together to convey a main point to the audience. Ibsen using repetition displays through his play the importance of respect and honesty. These two qualities seem to be the main points the author is trying to get the viewers to understand.
Throughout the play Torvald, the husband, references his wife, Nora, in very demeaning ways. Although it does not seem he is doing this to be intentionally rude or condescending, but he believes that his nicknames for his wife are caring and full of love. Nora, from the first scene we see is treated like a doll by her husband, and she finally realizes it at the end. An example of this is when Helmer says to Nora, “Hasn’t Miss Sweet-Tooth been breaking rules in town to-day (Ibsen 128)?” Torvald was not the only one who did not respect their spouse though, Nora had persistently gone against her husband’s wishes by hiding things and lying to him. It seems evident that Ibsen wanted to illustrate that it is best to respect someone in such a relationship because you never know when they will find out a secret or get tired of being treated like a child or less of a person.
Honesty is a quality that goes along with respect, which both Nora and Torvald did not know much about. Torvald throughout the play treats his wife as if she was a child, constantly checking up on her and talking to her as if she was a mischievous child. Nora on the other hand has lied to Torvald on numerous accounts. In the first scene you see Nora scramble to hide the macaroons she has bought while out shopping and going on to say “I should not think of going against your wishes (129).” Due to Torvald’s lack of respect in letting his wife make her own decisions, she lies to him about what she has bought. Nora begins to learn her lesson in the middle of the play when she realizes that lies can come back to haunt you. Nora does not know how to pay back a loan and infuriates Torvald when he finds out. This couple finally learns honesty at the very end of the play when it is finally too late.
Nora and Torvald the main characters of “A Dollhouse” written by Henrik Ibsen take a very long time to realize that their relationship was based on lies, and disrespect. They treat each other like father and daughter rather than husband and wife. Ibsen uses repetition and symbolism to get his messages across in this play.

Works Cited
Ibsen, Henrick. “A Dollhouse.” Literature by Mary McAleer Balkun. Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Pearson Education, 2005.

Posted by: Dawn at January 20, 2009 08:28 AM

Muriel Clemens
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 226 Survey of English Literature II (Honors)
Feb. 11, 2010

Entry Ticket #4
Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and Other Plays

Question 1
What was Nora’s role as a woman?

Answer 1
This play was written in 1879 and during that time women had few rights. Nora’s role would have been to raise the children, run the house, and be the dutiful wife. Women had few if any, options outside the home. They were basically the property of their husbands, fathers, of brothers. It took a very brave woman to leave her husband the way Nora did.

Question 2
Why was Nora’s husband Helmer so shocked when Nora wanted to leave?

Answer 2
He saw her as a child, helpless and dependent. He gave her no credit for her intelligence. Helmer also believed that he was a good husband and a good provider for his family. He saw nothing wrong with the way he treated Nora so he could not understand why she wanted to leave him.

Posted by: M. Clemens at March 1, 2010 11:46 PM

Antonette Boynes
Dr. Hobbs
Doll’s House Entry Ticket #4

Q1) What internal struggle does Nora face after she is threatened to be exposed by Mr. Krogstad about her past encounter with him?
A1) After being alerted that her past will be brought upon her if she does not subject herself to Mr. Krogstad’s terms, Nora faces a serious internal struggle of man vs self. It is almost as though she is about to go insane. She converses with herself regularly and tries to convince herself on what can or cannot happen in her horrible dilemma of a situation.

Q2) Although at the end Nora exclaims to Helmer that she is leaving because the “miracle” didn’t happen, how might Helmer not performing “the miracle” actually be a miracle?
A2) Nora from her early life has been treated like a silly little puppy, being told what to do all the time, and described by names such as “scatterbrain,” which I feel is quite degrading. However, by Helmer not performing the miracle which Nora hoped he would have when he opened the letter, another miracle was performed. Through this, Nora was finally able to open her eyes and realize what she has been branded as all her life, a wife, a mother, and nothing more. When she grasps the true concept of her husband’s intentions for her, Nora liberates herself and sets herself free from the captivity of the ordinary living of a woman. The miracle is that Nora has become herself and has accomplished the first step in her life that she never would have recognized had Helmer executed “the miracle.”

Posted by: Antonette Boynes at March 7, 2010 03:24 PM

Dawn Serzanin
Dr. Lee Hobbs
ENG 226 H
9 March 2010
Entry Ticket 4
1. In Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House he brings forth many feminine empowering themes and ideas for this time period. Why do you think it took so long for Nora Helmer to realize she is being treated like a doll instead of a person?
It seems that throughout the play Nora was realizing she was being treated as almost a little child. She continuously had to hide things she did to keep her husband happy. Torvald did not give her the opportunity to make her own choices or even let her feel as if she was. It was almost as if Torvald felt that his wife did not want any say in decisions that had to be made or choices that she would come in contact with. Nora herself slowly began to take some control over her life and step up to make her own decisions. This young woman showed that she had always had the ability and power to make her own decisions when she borrowed the money to go to Italy. Unfortunately she only felt she could act on her own judgments when her husband was either not around or unable to make a decision.
2. What do the multiple nicknames Torvald uses for his wife Nora symbolize in this play?
In this play Torvald the successful husband or Nora Helmer continuously used nicknames or pet names to address his wife. Although this is a popular habit of many married couples Torvald almost seemed to do it in a demeaning way. All these nicknames make Nora to be more of a little girl instead of someone’s wife. The nickname skylark was used in the beginning of the play, showing the audience from the start who was in control in this family. Unfortunately such a small thing as a demeaning nickname can cause a person to reevaluate their life and how they want it to be lived. Nora decided that she was tired of being treated as a toy or child and left her family.

Posted by: Dawn Serzanin at March 9, 2010 10:32 AM

Mary Strand
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 226
March 10, 2010

Mrs. Linde refused to let Krogstad take back his letter, was this act one of betrayal towards Nora, or was she genuinely trying to help Nora and Helmer’s Relationship?

Upon her arrival, Mrs. Linde is ever tolerant with Nora and listens to all the nonsense the young wife insists upon sharing with her. Nora continuously interrupts her and refutes what Mrs. Linde has to tell her. She is obviously younger in body and mind, than Mrs. Linde and she amuses Nora with advice and some encouragement for the insignificant accomplishments she is fairly proud of. When Mrs. Linde tells Krogstad that he must not take back his letter, for the secrecy in the house must be revealed, I believe that Mrs. Linde was honestly trying to help Nora and Helmer realize the insincere marriage that they were involved in.
Mrs. Linde says, “Nils, when you’ve sold yourself once for the sake of others, you don’t do it a second time” (page 210). She understands that in times of great desperation, people will do things that could potentially put themselves in a position of demise, yet this does not deem them a horrid person. She sacrificed a life of true love and betrayed her lover, in order to take care of her mother and younger brothers; just as Nora sacrificed her dignity by falsely signing her father’s name. When Mrs. Linde and Nora are first catching up Mrs. Linde tells her that her life now is left with, “Not even any regrets to break my heart over” (page 154). I believe that Mrs. Linde has hopes that Nora will learn from the discrepancy that is to come from Helmer’s reading of Krogstad’s letter. Mrs. Linde was left with no other choice, but to sacrifice her love to save her family, she does not regret it, but wishes for Nora to learn and grow and be given another option. Mrs. Linde hopes that with her new insight to life and the people around her (that came from Helmer’s realization of the truth), Nora will be given a second chance and not have to live a life with regrets or emptiness as she has been with Tourvald Helmer.

Posted by: Mary Strand at March 10, 2010 09:42 PM

Diana Parizon
English 226 – Honors
Dr. Hobbs
11. March 2010
Entry-Ticket for the Doll House

A.: Nora lived her life secured by her father, who as we learn in the book treated her like a living doll who, as we can assume was spoiled by him. However, I think along with his treatment toward his daughter, Nora learned how to please others. When she married Torvald, he gave her everything she desired. He, especially, let her have her way after he got promoted, however she spent most of the money for Christmas. But, because of the time in which this story occured, women were still not considered equal to men. The wife belonged to her husband, and she needed to please and obey him without objectives. Evidence can be drawn when Helmer talked about Nora as his “dearest treasure…that belongs to no one but” him (Ibsen 215). She was also constantly called “singing bird,” instead of Nora. This could indicate the lost of her self-identity because she lacked freedom of choice of things she liked and things she did not like (she hides her true desires). She was raised as a doll (Dolls always looked pretty, cute, always smiled, and could be controlled). She got use to this doll life. Nevertheless, the fault did not lie in the husband for the outcome of the story. Nora’s treatment caused her not to have any self-identity besides being a daughter, a wife, and a mother. For Nora, she, as an individual did not exist. That is why she left in the end to try to find herself and life without anyone telling her what to do. However, Nora, as an individual, existed all along. She took actions on her own, to save her husband by taking a loan with Nils Krogstad. I, personally, think she started to rebel against her life as a doll and to take action by herself; she wanted to prove she could do think without any help; even though she could have asked her husband’s friend Dr. Rank for the money, but she wanted to receive all the credit. Internally Nora was not happy with her life as a doll, but externally she enjoyed it because she behaved like a child. She played around with her children (hide and seek, just like she does with her secret life). When she got exposed of her lies over the years in the end, her desires for her independence she dwelled inside her escalate, and she has the only desire to oblige this by leaving her family behind to start finding herself (independence). This is not justified at all, even with her reason. She might think that her husband is selfish of thinking of her as his possession but she has the children she loved in the beginning. She simply ignores her duty as a wife and especially as a mother. As Nora says her most sacred duty is first “my duty to myself” (Ibsen 228). Throughout the story, Nora was a child pretending being an adult, in the end the child gets aware how far away she is from the truth. If she would have behaved more mature (that include being honest with her husband), her marriage would not fell apart, and she would probably not left her family and rather tried to fight for her family to stay together.

Posted by: DParizon at March 11, 2010 09:32 AM

Erin Van Eepoel
Eng Hon
A Doll’s House Entry ticket

In A Doll’s House it’s argued that Ibsen never meant for it to be a feminist story. Why did the book come off so feminist if that was not the point?
During the time period when the story was written women did not have a very strong influence on anything outside decorating the home. Nora’s role as Torvald’s “songbird” was just how the average woman was treated. At the end when Nora left her home and family behind it may have seemed feminist but it was just following the beginning of a bright young woman’s journey to find herself in a world of powerful men and seemingly helpless women.

Why did Nora finally allow herself to admit that she was unhappy and needed to leave?
Nora finally saw that Torvald did not understand her or even love her when he found the note from Krogstad. She had a romantic view of their relationship and she hoped that if he ever found out about the loan that he would take the fall out of love for her, but his reaction proved to be very different. He completely blamed her and did not even appreciate that she had done it only for him. When she realized this it opened her eyes to the fact that she was just his plaything and Torvald did not value her as an intelligent woman, just as his doll.

Erin Van Eepoel
Eng Hon
A Doll’s House Entry ticket

In A Doll’s House it’s argued that Ibsen never meant for it to be a feminist story. Why did the book come off so feminist if that was not the point?

Why did Nora finally allow herself to admit that she was unhappy and needed to leave?

Erin Van Eepoel
Eng Hon

Works Cited Page

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's House. NY,NY: Penguin, 1965. Print.

Posted by: Erin at March 11, 2010 10:29 AM

Branka Trivanovic
Due March 11, 2010

Entry Ticket #4

Q. 1) What is the difference between Nora’s feelings about signing her father’s name on the bond and what is the “reality”?

A. 1) When Krogstad confronts Nora about the fact that the date on the bond is three days after her father’s death, Nora breaks down and admits that she forged her father’s signature on the bond in order to get money to take Helmer to Italy to help save his life. Krogstad tells Nora that her reputation is in his hands and if it was to come out that she forged the signature that she could get into trouble. Nora tries to reason it out by saying that her intentions were to save her husband’s life, but Krogstad points out that the jury will not be looking at the her intentions. Nora’s fears are further confirmed when Helmer tells her a story about a man forging a signature, calling him a “moral invalid”. Thus, the difference is that even though she used the money for a valid reason, it was illegal none-the-less.

Q. 2) At the end, Nora lists off reasons why she is leaving Helmer in the kids. If you were in her position, could you do that?

A. 2) When Nora leaves Helmer, she tells him that she is doing so because she is tired of being treated like a doll: first with her father and then by her husband. After Helmer’s berating, Nora realizes that he is not the man that she wants to be with. Her expectation about what would happen when Helmer found out about the bond were crushed and she no longer wanted to be in a house with a man that turned his back on her. Other things that made her upset were the fact that he was so concerned with HIS reputation and not hers, called her names and told her that she was unfit mother. In my opinion, Nora had every right to leave Helmer, but I don’t think that she was right in leaving the children behind. If every woman listened to her angry husband, there would be no mothers left for children. If she had REALLY loved her kids, she would have taken them with her. In those times it was not stranger for mothers to leave their kids to go be nannies for others, but she had nannies of her own to take care of her kids. When Helmer asks her how she could be leaving the children behind she responds, “I’m sure they’re in better hands than mine.” I think that was just her coping with the situation because throughout the story the children asked for her to spend time with them and wanted to be in her presence. If I was in Nora’s situation, I would probably leave my husband as well, but I would take the kids with me. If my husband was as distant and busy with work as Helmer was, I really don’t think that he would be fit to raise the kids. Granted, the nanny would do it, but having a parent that is there but not involved is just as bad as an absentee parent (in my opinion.)

Posted by: Branka T. at March 11, 2010 10:44 AM

Dana Jennings
Dr. Hobbs

Entry Ticket 3: A Doll’s House

1. In A Doll’s House, there is an alternative ending for Ibsen’s German contemporary censors. Was the scene change as horrible as Ibsen made it sound, or was there some merit to the modification?

A. The censorship can be understandable, as it would be scandalous to have a woman walking out on her husband and children in 1879. With that being said, the message of the play would be changed significantly, because in the end she would never escape from his dollhouse. It is integral to the play that she escapes her captivity; whether escaping is morally right, wrong or in the gray area is for the audience to decide.

2. While Nora is making ready to leave, Torvald states that his words of hate and disowning were in anger and he didn’t truly mean them. Could he be truthful here, and worthy of redemption of a slip of the tongue in the heat of the moment, or is she correct in labeling him a “stranger”?

A. I believe that everyone is worthy of redemption, and while Nora avoids absolutes in her replies, she makes it pretty clear she is done with him. She tells him not to write or visit her, etc. While I have no ending in mind I would prefer at present, I dislike the idea that Torvald is forever doomed to be selfish, and Nora is forever abandoning her children. It is a very sad conclusion to a lively play.

Posted by: Dana Jennings at March 11, 2010 10:44 AM

Question 4
Entry ticket
ENG 226
Jeremy Doty

What would be an alternative plot to this story? Is there another meaning to the big picture in this story?

One of the themes I seen was that of honesty and also deceit. Everyone in this story is being deceitful and they are misleading the people around them. Even the characters that are not at the center have a major role and they have a purpose and they all have a part and without them the story would be different and the outcomes might be different from what happened. Even Krogstad was not being honest and had alterior motives, he was in my opinion the most deceitful out of the entire cast. He was threatening to revel to Nora’s husband that she forged a signature in order to save his life but he himself was a fraudulent person too, he signed papers that he shouldn’t have. Even Dr. Rank was misleading to his friends and he told different stories to different people. If this was a story with a plot that was supposed to have something learned, a moral, then I would say that it would be that if you weren’t honest then you would lose everything and that you had to keep your friends close. I think there are many more ideas and plots that can be seen I you pick the book apart and there are defiantly a lot of hidden meanings and symbols, but I still think on the outside the big picture is just about honesty and deceit.

Posted by: jeremy at March 11, 2010 08:53 PM

Katie Ganning
Dr. B. L. Hobbs
ENG226H: Survey of World Literature II
11 March 2010
“It is in the blood; for indeed it is true that you can inherit these things, Nora.” In comparison to the play, how has inheriting your family values effect ones everyday life?

As people age, nature versus nurture begin to attack one’s way of thinking. When you are a child, everything our parents tell us, we believe is the truth and nothing more or less, but as we enter into the real world, we learn that not everyone thinks like and/or acts like us at all. In Henrik Isben’s A Doll’s House, Helmer watches the mannerism of his wife Nora, and relates them to her late father’s mannerism.
Isben begins the play with Nora planning their yearly Christmas ritual of presents and lavish decorations. As Nora continues to ask for more money in order to plan the perfect Christmas, Helmer begins to see Nora’s father in her when it comes to money; “You are an odd little soul. Very like your father. You always find some new way of wheedling money out of me, and, as soon as you have got it, it seems to melt in your hands.” (Isben 128, 50-52) Similar to the interaction between the spouses, many people deal with situation like this in real life.
Colleges are a popular place for different cultures to interact; many come from out of state or even outside of the country. When you put different groups together, debates are drawn out and even sometimes friendships can be lost. It is not anyone’s fault for this to happen, but the people who continue to demand and believe that their beliefs and values are morally correct. Helmer called Nora a spendthrift because of the way she is able to waste away money just as fast as her father. This is not Nora’s fault nor is her father because it was clearly how they were raised when it comes to spending wisely and when she married into Helmer’s spending lifestyle, they both clash together on how to fix the problem.
Eventually, Nora leaves behind everything she knew because of the way she handle and spent her money, sometimes; the most open-minded people can be the most close-minded. To Nora, the way she handled her money between Helmer and Krogstad shows she actually did not have a good financial method and when she was called out about her actions, she left without even trying to fix the situation. In real life, situations like this happen all over. People, who are easily manipulated, believe that the bond between themselves and the person they have an agreement with, end up not realizing that it was even happening, whether it was a year of manipulation or 20 years of marriage. Either way, it is not the fault of either party because it was based on how each person was raised and how they use it in the nature of the world surrounding them.

Works Cited
Isben, Henrick. “A Doll’s House” A Prentice Hall Pocket Reader. Ed. Mary Mcaleer Balkun. Upper Saddle River, NJ. 2005. 125-193.

Posted by: Katie Ganning at March 12, 2010 09:13 AM


*NOTE* The deadline for the assignment shown above this message has now passed. Any comments listed below this message are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

Posted by: Dr. Hobbs at March 12, 2010 02:27 PM

Mary Strand
ENG 226
Dr. Hobbs
March 21, 2010

Tailor Made

In Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, some may see Nora as being an admirable character for courageously taking a stand against Torvald and leaving him. Her decision to go out into the world and find true satisfaction from thinking for herself and attempting to become a ‘human being’ (pg 228), might also lead one to think of Nora as a noble woman of her time. But, I find that her decision was made in haste and secures the immature and childish characteristics Ibsen gave her throughout the play.
During her life, Nora has been bound by the ‘play-time’ that was given to her by her father and then her husband, Torvald. She says on page 226, “But our home has been nothing but a play-room. I’ve been your doll-wife here, just as at home I was Papa’s doll-child.” Freedom from her role as someone’s ‘doll’ was never an option and she was quite content in playing with or for someone. Nora did what her father and husband had told her and acted as child to both of them. In saving Torvald’s life, and breaking the law, Nora liberated herself from her role as the doll, if only for a while, until the consequences of her actions caught up with her. When hiding things from her husband and having no moonbeam to dance on (page187), Nora was lost and needed a way out.
In the last act of the play, Nora tells Torvald, “You’re not to feel yourself bound in any way, and nor shall I. We must both be perfectly free. Look, here’s your ring back – give me mine” (page 231). The freedom she felt in making her own decisions, and doing business-like things (as a man would), give her the courage to decide she must make her own life and choices from there on out. Throughout the play Ibsen gave many examples of Nora’s materialistic and impulsive self, which shows up in the end of the play as well.
Although some may see her reasoning for leaving as legitimate grounds, I do not. When Torvald does not react to the unfortunate news in the way Nora had expected, she desperately needs to find a way to get out of the uncomfortable situation. Leaving her children and husband seems to her the only way she can get back the feeling of independence she experienced, in short. Although the way Nora is thinking and rationalizing her life may have temporarily changed, her hasty, spontaneous, and childish ways of making decisions for herself have not; therefore she will forever be bound to a doll-like life.  

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House and Other Plays. Penguin: New York, 1965. Print.

Posted by: Mary Strand at March 22, 2010 06:28 PM

Tommy Tagliavia
Dr. Hobbs
Reading Response 4
March 21, 2010

Women Rights in A Doll’s House
To me Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is a sexist play. However, there are responses to his play saying that in no means is this play sexist. Throughout the play there are signs of this being sexist, whether it is the way Torvald acts, or how Nora just acts it all leads to me thinking that this play is sexist. Thus being, I like how the play is sexist and I think it is a main point of this play.
The title of this play, A Doll’s House, backs up my point because it is like Nora is a doll. What I am saying by this is that Nora does whatever she is told and doesn’t really have an opinion. Torvald acts like an owner of Nora in this play. She is frightened of him and afraid to do random things around the house or even leave the house because of the way Torvald will act about it. Nora is not allowed to have maroons because Torvald won’t allow her to. Instead of letting them be around the house he bribes her with them. For example, on page 187 Nora asks Torvald to not put in Krogstads resignation and instead do it for a different clerk. He responds by arguing with her that she is too irresponsible by promises something that shouldn’t have been, he is showing no sign of respect towards her or her thoughts. I think this is good because it shows the time period. This play was written in the 19th century (1879) and women still did not have equal rights with men, it was coming along but still was not assembled.
Also, Torvald gives Nora nicknames such as his “little squirrel”. I know a lot of couples have their nicknames, but they are good nicknames, mostly. The point behind squirrel is that whenever he tells her to do something she scatters off and does it without her arguing about it. Also, she doesn’t do anything that she isn’t told to. When Nora was writing letters back and forth with Dr. Rank, she did not want Helmer to find out about this. She had to steal the mail key and take the letter from Dr. Rank while Torvald was at work. Once he found out about this he was furious and scared Nora.
In the beginning of this play and the end of this play show the weaknesses and strengths of Nora. The play kind of shows how Nora grows more as a woman throughout the play, which is why I like how this play was sexist. In the beginning of the play Torvald tells her that he has maroons. Nora immediately starts begging for them while jumping up and down. To me this looks like a desperate act showing the control Torvald has over her. However, throughout the play there are signs of her growing as a woman. The last part of this play, page 232, Helmer and Nora are arguing about the letters but she admits she has them, in the beginning of this play Nora would never have admitted to this. She also states that she does not love him anymore but she feels like she has to because of how nice he is to her and she is willing to walk out on her husband (page 229).
Nora grows not only as a person but finally as an individual which is probably what I like best about this play. I liked it how she finally stood up for herself and stopped dealing with Helmer and all of his nonsense.

Ibsen, Henrick. “A Dollhouse.” Literature by Mary McAleer Balkun. Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Pearson Education, 2005.

Posted by: tommy at March 22, 2010 07:55 PM

Diana Parizon
English 226 - Honors
Dr. Hobbs
23 March 2010

Response Paper to “The Doll House”

“The Doll House” by Ibsen was disappointed mainly because of how the story ended. The story begins with the introduction of Nora’s everyday life. In the beginning, Nora comes off as very childish. She plays hide and seek with her children. She even lies to her husband about the macaroons she is eating behind his back just like a naughty child would do. When Nora’s friend, Mrs. Linde, comes to visit her, she points out her simple life. Nora cannot help herself but indicate her illegal deed a few years back when her husband was ill. She had to loan money to afford the trip to Italy. Nora needed to work very hard to pay back the money. She tells how hard she had to work “with odds and ends of needlework – crochet and embroidery and so on” just to show off herself that she is more than just a wife and mother (Ibsen 155). From that moment, we know Nora has more than just one face of character.
Moreover, Nora’s life was mostly dictated by her father and than by her husband. She learns how to please others by be treated like a doll. As Nora tells her husband in the end, “Papa, he used to tell me his opinion about everything, and so I had the same opinion. If I thought differently, I had to hide it from him, or he wouldn’t have liked it” (Ibsen 225). This shows her insecurity and her weakness of standing up for herself. At the same time, she longs to have freedom without being polluted by her father or husband. Nevertheless, we also need to consider that a child usually believes what their parents do and trust them without questioning. They supposed to love and protect their children. Nora behaved like a typical child toward her father, but she was only his doll, and when she became a wife, the same issues stayed. Her husband treated her like a doll as well as his property.
The play sets during the late 19th century where woman where still the husband responsibilities (caregiver). The wife needed to obey her husband without queries. When Nora took actions on her own, without her husband’s knowledge, she violated all the principles of marriage. What would have happen if Nora would have asked her husband for his consent? He probably would have prohibited her, but if he said yes? The story would have turned out differently and their marriage could have survived and grown stronger. However, her lies and his attitude towards her their marriage does not survive. She would not abandon her children in the end if their marriage would have been strong based on honesty and respect.
The story began with the problem of Nora’s dishonesty and Helmer’s dictation toward his wife; however, instead of a solved problem, the story ends only with Nora leaving the house, which does not solve the problem. Nora acts like a selfish young girl who running away instead of taking responsibilities of her situation and trying to face her problems. It is never a solution to abandon your children just to follow as Nora says “my duty to myself” (Ibsen 228). Only the greatest miracle of all can bring Nora back to the house (Ibsen 232). The miracle they both talking about could be her maturing, her greater love for her children, or her and her husband finding themselves together for the first time. However, one thing is for sure, the problems of this family are not resolved. Questions still remain without answers. Will Nora come back to her family? If not, what will happen to her children? Will she have still contact with her children? Will she be respected in society because of her actions? Will Helmer try to convince Nora to come back? How then? But overall, “The Doll House” had a good story line, if it only would have ended differently because with Nora’s last action she created more problems.

Work cite
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House and Other Plays. Trans. Peter Watts. London:
Penguin Classics, 1965. Print.

Posted by: D.Parizon at March 22, 2010 11:45 PM

Branka Trivanovic


Due March 23, 2010


A Doll’s House is a play about a woman that decides to leave her husband after realizing that she is not appreciated by him the way that she wanted to be. In the play, Nora Helmer is basically blackmailed by the rather shady Nils Krogstad. Nora borrowed money from Krogstad in order to help get her husband Torvald to Italy to treat the illness that was slowly draining the life out of him. Although Nora was working hard to pay him back, Krogstad threatened to tell Torvald all about the deal because his job at the bank was at stake. Nora had to convince Helmer to let Krogstad keep his job at the bank or otherwise she would be exposed and the last thing she wanted was for her husband to know that she borrowed money because she knows that Torvald would be upset at her. What she did not expect, however, was the reaction that she got from Torvald when he finally did find out about Nora forging her father’s signature on the bank note in order to get money. When Torvald reads the letter from Krogstad he reprimands Nora saying, “You’ve completely wrecked my happiness, you’ve ruined my whole future! ... And I am brought so pitifully low all because of a shiftless woman!” (Ibsen, 221) He tells her that people will assume that he helped her commit the “crooked dealing” and that the only solution is to hush-up Krogstad. He also tells her that they will go on “just as before” in the public eye, but that he will not allow her to bring up her children. Shortly afterwards, another letter arrives from Krogstad apologizing for his action and letting them know that he will send them the bond so that he can no longer use it against them. Helmer is overjoyed and tells Nora that they are “both saved” and that he takes back all of the things that he said in anger. It is at this point that the reader sees a change in Nora. On page 223, as Helmer is telling her how everything is okay, Nora’s responses seem indifferent and distant and on the next few pages we see her get dressed in her traveling clothes. When confronted by Helmer about it, she tells him that she is leaving him because she is tired of being treated like a doll; first by her father and then by him. She felt like he did not understand her, just as her father hadn’t either. Torvald begs Nora to rethink her decision about leaving but the play ends with the sound of a door slamming as Nora leaves Torvald and her children behind.
This play was very controversial for its time because that is not that way that women were “supposed” to behave. They were supposed to be by their husbands side no matter what and for her to leave HIM and not the other way around was an idea that disturbed many. I admire her character and her bravery. I don’t know that I could leave my children behind like she did but Nora did what she thought was necessary for her happiness and I admire that.

Works Cited

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll’s House and Other Plays. New York: Penguin, 1965.

Posted by: Branka Trivanovic at March 23, 2010 12:58 AM

Dawn Serzanin
Dr. Hobbs
ENG 226H
22 March 2010
Marriages True Meanings
In many cultures the status quo on marriage and what it means is very different. Most would agree though that it is the joining together of two people who can help each other throughout their lives together for better or worse. In Henrick Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, we see a couple who only has a partial understanding in this. Although Torvald Helmer was a bit controlling and dominant in his relationship with his wife Nora, she was not the most dependable or honest wives as well.
In the Helmer’s marriage Torvald was portrayed to be controlling and the decision maker of the two. Torvald kept a close eye on everything his wife did, as seen in act one when he says, “Surely your sweet tooth didn’t get the better of you in town today?” (p. 151) He seems to treat Nora like she was unable to think and act as an adult. This portrayal of life during the 19th century seemed to follow the social norm. Although it seems negative during present time it was at one time the social norm for the man of the house to make all decisions. In Torvald’s defense he was taught by previous generations as Nora stated in act three when she said, “ I passed out of Papa’s hand into yours.” (p. 226) Although it seems as if the men in Nora’s life were doing something terrible to her they were truly just caring and trying to protect her. It seems that Torvald is really guilty of the time period and he was not in fact a terrible husband.
Nora on the other seems to blame her husband for her own unhappiness. She does not realize that above all she should be honest and open with her husband as he was with her. Whether he be poking fun at her for eating macaroons or talking about serious family issues Torvald always seems to have a trusting relationship with his wife. Unfortunately, Nora is not as honest and open with her husband. She lies to him about borrowing money and again when she is unable to pay back the loan. Nora seems to be the more devious of the couple. At the end of the play Nora then leaves Torvald and blames him for her cowardliness. Nora seemed to consistently be unhappy and unsure of her relationship with Torvald. Instead of talking to her husband about it she instead ran away from her children and family to prove a point.
Marriages are like sports team everyone needs to do their part in order for it to be successful. In many marriages similar to Nora and Torvald’s each partner has weaknesses and strengths, the balance between the two is where the trouble lies. Ibsen’s description of the Helmer’s marriage is one that many can discuss and have debate about which is what kept his audience so captivated over many years. Works Cited
Ibsen, Henrick. A Doll’s House and Other Plays. New York, NY: Penguin Books, 1965.

Posted by: Dawn at March 23, 2010 09:53 AM

Erin Van Eepoel
English Hon.
Symbolism and the female role in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

Ibsen’s A doll’s house is a book full of symbolism on nearly every page, from a Christmas tree to a simple game of hide and seek, they all have other meanings. The character of Nora brings about most of the symbolism starting with the Christmas tree, which has been argued to represent her, just something beautiful to decorate the house but they both have little purpose other than their looks. This symbolism started out the play and worked into the title A Doll’s house representing that Nora was merely a doll for Torvald. Further into the play Nora begins to talk about a masquerade ball where she will perform the Tarantella, a fast paced dance that Torvald requested. The masquerade ball represents secrets and facades that people put up. This symbolism is very important because of Nora’s deep secret and the façade she must keep up daily. Nora comes off as a carefree, cheery young woman but that all hides the secret that could ruin her entire family.
For part of the story Nora seems like the classical fun loving wife and mother, she does not seem to be bothered by her husband’s demeaning nicknames or his dismissive attitude towards her. Nora appears to be the epitome of a woman who knows her place in the home and

Erin Van Eepoel
English Hon.
society in her time. Through the story Nora’s true strength becomes more apparent because of the way she saved her husband’s life and guarded a secret that would destroy it. This shows a stronger woman than the time period normally accepted so Nora kept her strength under her mask for the majority of the story. Finally her strength was forced to the surface when she saw what her life with Torvald had come to, she finally forced herself to realize that she really was merely his doll and nothing more, they were strangers “I couldn’t take anything from a stranger”(ibsen). This specific ending was crucial to the character of Nora because it showed her finally becoming free of the burden of her lies and fake life.

Works Cited Page

Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's House. NY, NY: Penguin Publishing, 1965. Print

Posted by: Erin at March 23, 2010 10:17 AM

Dana Jennings
Dr. Hobbs

All Dolled Up

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen is an interesting piece that I believe highlights the woman question present during the Victorian Era, even outside of the British Empire. The description and behaviors of women never ceases to amaze me when reading pieces from this era or prior; it is so very incongruous with how I envision women of this era to behave. Helmer Torvald, Nora’s husband, while describing Nora states, “It’s [Nora] a sweet little bird, but it gets through a terrible amount of money. You wouldn’t believe how much it costs a man when he’s got a little songbird like you!” (150-51). The offhandedness of the statement is hard for me to fathom; it is hard to find the place Nora should start with her tongue-lashing for the insults, but she does nothing of the sort, and she only takes it in stride.

The ending is surely one that can polarize audiences, with some applauding loudly the break from traditional roles of women, while others deplore Nora’s abandonment of her children and marriage. It is clear that this was true especially in Ibsen’s time, as he was forced to rewrite the ending for the German production which concluded with Nora stating, “[The children] Motherless! Ah, though it is a sin against myself, I cannot leave them!” (334). It is hard for me to like this ending, since it returns Nora to a life of misery and oppression. On the other hand, I find it difficult to swallow the original ending either, as children have less authority and are equally oppressed in that era. While the ending is tough either way, it is an ending that is realistic, and that is something I can accept and applaud. Will Torvald get his “Greatest miracle of all” (232) and reunite with Nora, bringing the family back together for the best? I doubt it, but he can hope, and in hoping, I believe he would become a better father to his children, lessening their pain of their mother’s betrayal.

Work Cited
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's House and Other Plays. London: Penguin, 1965. Print.

Posted by: Dana Jennings at March 23, 2010 11:07 AM

Patricia Pothier
ENG 226 Survey of World Lit
Dr. Hobbs
Reading Response

A Doll’s House provides a clear example of feminism and the early emancipation of women. Praise is due to writer Henrik Ibsen for being ahead of his time in his depiction of the conflicts that were to marriages of his time; as well as inconsistencies prominent between men and women. The reader is given a glimpse of the almost unfathomable circumstances of a beleaguered young woman battling the oppression of a patriarchal society. Though the heroine is rather self-indulgent, she no less remains under the tight thumb of her hypocritical husband. This conflict serves well to make Nora’s liberation even more profound and dramatic.
Nora and Torvald’s relationship exemplified the suppression of women by the hands of their husbands. Torvald maintained a sort of low level dominance over Nora that barely surfaced but remained ever present throughout the story. With statements such as “Everything as you wish Torvald” we see a dominance that overpowers Nora that she is at first unaware of or simply ignorant of. This type of male dominance extends past the marital relationship into a previous relationship that Nora had with her father. The paternal relationship also uses money to symbolize the power that men often held over women. Nora did not have a job which required her to depend on her husband for security; this aided in his effort to maintain control over her.
At the conclusion of the story Nora decides to leave her children and husband, a shocking finale to an already risqué story. Facing severe scrutiny and possibly being ostracized from society, Nora disregards her tragic fate and leaves. Freeing herself of the oppression that dominated her home life she vindicates herself and charts her own course. Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, though written by a man, ties feminist ideas into its plot making a bold, powerful, and historic statement.

Posted by: Patricia Pothier at March 23, 2010 02:32 PM

Muriel Clemens
Dr. B. Lee Hobbs
ENG 226 Survey of English Literature II (Honors)
Reading Response #4

Human Rights
A Doll’s House and Other Plays
Henrik Ibsen

Ibsen’s A Doll’s House is an interesting play. While I was reading the play I kept thinking that if I were Nora I would, under no circumstances, tolerate being treated like an impetuous child. I would expect to be treated with respect and as an intelligent adult. But then again, I did not grow up in the nineteenth century. One thing I do know is that a woman reading this play is going to have a different perspective from that of a man. You can see that in the criticisms written about this story. So what was Nora’s world like? What was her husband’s life like? Is this play less about women’s rights and more about human rights? It is my intent to see if I can answer these questions.
Nora’s behavior in A Doll’s House gives us some idea about what a woman’s life was like in the nineteenth century. She becomes very upset when she thinks her husband will find out she forged her father’s name on a document. Krogstad tells her:
KROGSTAD: Mrs. Helmer, you obviously don’t realize what you’ve
been guilty of; but let me tell you that the thing that I once did that
ruined my reputation was nothing more – and nothing worse – than that.

Nora could not legally sign a note for a loan. Only her father or her husband could do that. Women were not allowed to borrow money. When Nora got married, everything she owned went to her husband. She was totally dependent on her husband for anything she may have needed. But this would have been difficult for her husband as well. Helmer would have been under a great deal of pressure to provide for his family. Krogstad was not only a threat to Nora but he was also a threat to Helmer.
Perhaps the point that Ibsen was trying to make is more a human rights issue than a battle between men and women. Let’s not forget Mrs. Linde, who is a widow who must now find a way to make a living. Her husband lost all their money so she was left with nothing, which meant that her children would suffer also. It is the rights of all that matter not just the rights of a few.

Works Cited
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's House and Other Plays. London: Penguin, 1965. Print.

Posted by: M. Clemens at March 24, 2010 06:11 PM

Katie Ganning
Dr. B. L. Hobbs
ENG226: Survey of World Literature II
23 March 2010

1. When Nora hides the macaroons in her pocket, what is drawn from this form of action about their relationship?

Nora hides her macaroons from her husband because she knows that he has control over her actions even though she is a rebellious woman of her time. Since she knows she is not allowed to eat her sweets, it gives her more of a reason to crave for them. This type of action shows that her husband gives order in their household and not Nora herself, even though she is able to receive certain portions of money. Nora clearly shows that whether it is her husband or anyone, she will do what it takes to get what she wants.

2. “There can be no freedom or beauty about a home life that depends on borrowing and debt.” How does Torvald comment explain Nora’s constant worry about the money she borrowed?
In today’s society, we are constantly borrowing from different countries which have led our country into debt, causing our freedom to feel as if it were decreasing in size. Similar to today, Nora’s freedom is shown to have little impact on the actions of the household. Although she is able to get some money out of Torvald, he still has control about what it is spent on. Once her debt to Krogstad was due, her freedom which she thought she had control of, was slowly slipping from her because she failed to pay him back. As she realized she did not have a way out of the situation, the beauty of their life begins to turn grey in her eyes and decides to leave the life she has known and begin a new one with a clean slate. To Nora, this is a way to move on from her past events, but usually in situations such as this, one does not always learn, just attempts to not get caught in the bind they put themselves in before. 
Works Cited
Isben, Henrick. “A Doll’s House” A Prentice Hall Pocket Reader. Ed. Mary Mcaleer Balkun. Upper Saddle River, NJ. 2005. 125-193.

Posted by: Katie Ganning at March 25, 2010 09:25 AM


*NOTE* The deadline for the assignment shown above this message has now passed. Any comments listed below this message are *ONLY* for the reposting of comments that I specifically asked to be revised or are ones from non-student posters. Any 'student' posts below that missed the assignment deadline will not get credit for the assignment.

Posted by: B. Lee Hobbs at April 5, 2010 01:54 PM

Antonette Boynes
Dr. Hobbs
A Doll’s House Reading Response
After reading Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, I must say I was quite satisfied in an average way. I have heard of and is quite familiar with the way women were treated and expected to act. However, Torvald appeared much more pleasant than what I’ve usually heard about men back in these days. Though Torvald treated Nora like his pet he showed much care and affection for her unlike the vociferous animals that were described in my high school history books that dominated females.
Torvald was rather insulting to Nora with the names that he referred to her as. On page 148 he asks, “Has my little featherbrain been out wasting all my money again?” At this early point in the story I was already frustrated to see that he would use such a degrading term to describe his own wife. It was interesting that Nora answered to these names because I’ve never actually seen a response from a female who was treated like a trained dog and given “Scooby snacks” when she performed well. Most people nowadays, including myself would probably have told him off and never married him in the first place with this kind of treatment.
I at first was very upset with Mr. Krogstad who was blackmailing Nora and had her stressed out. Just like Nora, I was praying for the very same “miracle” while I was reading the book that Krogstad would go down looking like an idiot or his plan would never fall through and Nora would be safe. Nora did get her “miracle” just not the one she expected. I was very disappointed and furious when Torvald found out Nora’s secret and then tried to chastise and drill her while she did it all for him. He seemed very arrogant reprimanding Nora like she was about to spoil his good name and she was ashamed of her, for saving his life!
With all seriousness, I was happy when Nora left Torvald to himself. I didn’t like that she left her children because I think all women should take care of the bounties of joy that they brought into the world. Although Nora thought she didn’t receive the miracle from Torvald and that was her reason for leaving, in my opinion, by Torvald not performing “the miracle,” she received a miracle. She was able to see clearly and make choices for herself and liberate herself from Torvald’s puppet string that he had her attached to. She was finally free.

Works Cited
Ibsen, Henrik. A Doll's Houser. London: Penguin Classics, 1965.

Posted by: Antonette Boynes at April 13, 2010 07:04 AM

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